SAFN is pleased to announce that Carolyn Mason is the winner of the 2021 Christine Wilson Undergraduate Award, for her essay “Bigger Fish to Fry: Enslaved Foodways and Their Connection to the Health of Enslaved People and Their Descendants.” Reviewers thoroughly enjoyed reading her paper and equally enjoyed listening to the three-part podcast that accompanied Mason’s research. The use of innovative modalities to present food studies research pushed us towards new insights and challenges to consider in how we evaluate scholarship.
Carolyn Mason is an honors graduate from the Anthropology program at George Mason University in Virginia. During her time at George Mason, she received a grant from the Undergraduate Research Fellows Program to produce a podcast called Bigger Fish to Fry, which discusses the food history of enslaved people and how that food tradition affected the health and diet of both enslaved people in the past and their descendants today. The three episodes of the limited series focus on food history and foodways of enslaved people, their nutrition, and the legacy on descendants of enslaved people, respectively.
Mason is now pursuing a PhD in Anthropology at Southern Methodist University, where she received the Mustang Fellowship. This will allow her to focus not only on pushing for equity and transparency at all levels of academia but also focusing on her own research into the role of food and other traditional treatments as they are juxtaposed with the medicines originating from the biomedical systems. Her ultimate goal is to do research that highlights and promotes the voices of those who have not had the opportunity to tell their own stories.